## Wednesday, December 7, 2011

### Fraction Visuals (...do you have fraction anxiety??)

Here are a couple visuals to share from our current unit on fractions. (Bridges, Grade 3) I love this stuff...and wish someone had taught me fractions this way. To this day, I still harbor feelings of anxiety about fractions due to the way I was taught. (Or NOT taught.) Do you have fraction anxiety? How do you teach fractions?

Sharing licorice with different numbers of friends...lots of fractions! During this lesson my student said, "This is easy! It's just like multiplication!"

We made quilt blocks and looked at many different fractions as we cut pieces and formed the squares.

1. How were you taught fractions? Just curious.

2. All textbook. And to start with, mostly on my own because I was in the "advanced" group and moving at my own pace. The rest of the class caught me and passed me before I could admit to my teacher that I was stuck. All rule memorization, no making mathematical meaning.

3. Not sure how I was taught fractions, seems like it was 1,000 years ago. Needless to say I'm looking forward to tackling it with my 4th graders after the New Year.

4. "During this lesson my student said, 'This is easy! It's just like multiplication!'"

I know I'm late to this post, but I was struck by your student's comment/observation because I recently made that connection myself. I've been doing some games with dried beans with my daughter (age 7). I call it 'algebra' because she's excited to do something that bigger kids do and right now it's really the only way to get her to the table, lol! It started out as 'this soup has two red beans for every white bean. There are 15 beans in this soup...etc'. But, although it's algebra, it's also turning into quite a good opening for multiplicative thinking and...division. Which is really what fractions are -- dividing. So, it's all connected! :-)

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